G1YBB climbing mast to attach HF dipole pulley for HF field day

Steve climbing a mast to attach the HF dipole pulley for HF field day

Callsign: G1YBB (UK)

QTH: Hereford, England.

When were you first licensed? August 1987

How did you become interested in radio? My dad (G1UKD now SK) was building a raft for the first raft race held on our River Wye. I sat in his car and he had an AM 40 channel CB in there, which I operated on. From there I went on to the legal (in UK) FM CB and began DXing on there on overnighters on hilltops. My dad passed the RAE so I did the next exam as well and started on VHF.

Favorite radio activities and locations: Portable in the mountains. I love contesting and spent many many hours at the highest point we could get a car to in the Black Mountains. I am still getting higher with SOTA activations :-) .

Future hobby plans or goals: To resume 144MHz contesting with my SOTA setup and also activate more summits and perhaps try a few HF contests.

Member of any radio organizations or clubs: Hereford VHF Contest Group.

Describe some of your favorite field radio experiences: Most memorable was the first ever 144/432 G1YBB Portable in WalesMhz March 24 hour contest on Pen-Y-Gaider, Black Mountains back in the late 80s. We arrived on site Friday afternoon and set up, dressed only in T-shirts! By dark, there was 1 mm of ice on the cars and by Saturday morning it started snowing. It didn’t stop snowing until Sunday morning. We had holiday frame tents, one for operation and one for cooking. Snowflakes were often blowing under the tent sides and wafting onto the the shack table. NEVER have I been so cold, before or since.

Another contest up there, this time in May, just on 144MHz. This time we were competing with the ‘big boys’ who had the luxury of multiple masts and 8877 amps.  The band opened on the Sunday morning when I was operating with so many German stations calling and I worked over 70 per hour, which is good for a VHF locator and multiplier exchange contest. We came 4th with just 200W and 2x 19 element yagis and were the only station in the top 10 not using 400W and at least 4x yagis!

Transceivers and antennas:

  • FT-225RD + 60 foot mast and 2x 9 element homebrew DJ9BV for car transported and generator powered portable.
  • FT-897D or FT-817 and fishing pole masts, wire link dipoles for SOTA style activations.
    Plans for a single 9 or 10 element DK9ZB long yagi for 144MHz contesting, and also working on an ultralight 5 band cobweb for easier ascent SOTA activations.

Modes: Currently only using voice, almost exclusively SSB.

Website: http://g1ybb.uk/ – Most of my recent antics, and some history can be found on my radio only website.

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